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Aeon has begun building its first shopping mall in Cambodia, marking the first Japanese retail entry into the country.

Aeon broke ground on the new 100,000m2 mall, which it aims to open in 2014, reported Inside Retail.

The US$200m construction will be one of Cambodia’s largest malls, and will have space for 150 stores, both Japanese brands and local.

“We are happy to contribute to the development of the local economy because it will create more than 2,000 jobs and we want to stay deeply rooted in Cambodia and we want to be 'loved the most',” Aeon senior executive Motoya Okada said.

The new Cambodian mall is one of a number the Japanese retailer has planned for South East Asia, where Aeon wants to become a major player. Aeon has plans to build 19 malls in Indonesia and four in Vietnam.

“Strong economic growth in this region has also sparked positive economic opportunities that to us indicate the dawn of the age of the shopping mall,” said the company’s Asean division head Akifumi Nakamura.